Friday, March 9, 2012

Spring has Sprung

Spring has Sprung that's what I say
I can feel it in the brilliance of the day
I can see it in the colors of yellow green and purple in the morning light
I can hear it in the birds song before they take flight
I can smell it after a morning shower
And in winter's ninth hour
Spring strikes a mighty blow and pushes winter into the past
And I jump for joy and yell finally at last :)
                                                                   Tommy Meade

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Thump Your Pepper Plants

A couple of years back,early on in the season my pepper plants would flower but no peppers. They would just drop their flowers and I wondered why. I met an old farmer and I asked him about it and he said to go out early in the morning and give them a thump.I asked what do you mean by giving them a thump? He replied to just take your finger and flick it on the main trunk. So I did this and what do you know it worked. I didn't know why it worked, just that it did. A couple of weeks ago, my friend Pam at Thyme Square Gardens said tomato and peppers don't usually cross, well that puzzled me, I just assumed they did. So I did a bit of research and found out
Tomatos and peppers are self pollinating that means  Tomato and Pepper blossoms are perfect, meaning they have both male and female reproductive structures. They are capable of pollenization without the aid of pollinating insects and without pollen from other blossoms.There is only 2 to 5 percent chance of cross pollination then the odds of you saving seed from that one flower that was crossed, that bears fruit, are again likely 2%,  though it could happen that you saved cross pollinated seed the odds totaled would be 1% meaning out of 100 times you collected seed 1 would be a cross.

Now back to my theory on why thumping works.The plants produce the flowers in the morning hours and during the months of June and early July the nite temps are still low compared to the day time temps which causes dew . Now dew causes the pollen to clump up and not easily fall out and when you thump the plant it aids the flower in releasing the pollen and thus self pollinating itself..
So remember now if you want to be eating that homemade salsa in late July, go out in June and give those tomato's and peppers a good thump early in the morning.